Two Canadian officers with a local connection lost their lives on 23rd January 1918 whilst on active service. Second Lieutenant Ralph Gordon Hall, and Second Lieutenant Reginald Douglas Hamilton, both aged 19 and serving with the Royal Flying Corps, died in a flying accident at Castle Bromwich when their aeroplanes collided with each other.
Lieutenant Lancelot John Barrington Walters lost his life in the sinking of HMS Partridge in the North Sea. On the same day, Private Alfred Humphriss Saunt, Army Service Corps, died of wounds at Queen Mary’s Military Hospital, Whalley, Lancashire.
Second Lieutenant Vernon Radcliffe Stewart, aged 23, was accidentally killed on 5th December 1917 whilst serving as a flying instructor at Castle Bromwich. He was born on 19th March 1894 in Holmesfield, Derbyshire but, by 1901, the family had moved to Haslingden, 19 miles north of Manchester. He was educated at Newchurch Grammar School, Haslingden Secondary School, Gigglewick School, and Manchester University before going on to study medicine at St Mary’s Hospital, London.
37-year-old Private Herbert Ernest Rhodes died of wounds at 56th General Hospital, Etaples on 15th October 1917, serving with the 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment. He was born in Castle Bromwich on 28th February 1880 and baptised at St Mary & St Margaret’s Church, Castle Bromwich on 4th April 1880.
Nine local men lost their lives on 4th October 1917 whilst on active service:
- Lance Corporal Edwin John Adams, 14th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Private Eric Ashley Ellis, 13th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
- Sergeant Charles Haynes, 1st/5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Second Lieutenant Albert Bertini Heywood, 10th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
- Private Lewis James Knight, 30th Battalion, Australian Infantry
- Lance Corporal George Henry Pegg, 1st/6th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Private William Savage, 1st Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
- Private William Thomas Tropman, 1st/8th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
- Gunner Arthur Whinfrey, 256th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Second Lieutenant David Kitto Billings, Royal Flying Corps, died, aged 23, in a flying accident near Water Orton on 14th September 1917. He was described in newspaper reports as a Canadian attached to the Australian Flying Corps and he died as a result of one of the pins in his leather safety belt breaking, causing one end of the belt to fly open and the aviator to fall out of the plane from a height of 1,500-2000 feet.
Private George Neville from Castle Bromwich was killed in action on 27th August 1917, serving with the 1st/6th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was born in Sheldon in 1896 and was the youngest of the five children (four sons, one daughter) of parents Charles (a shepherd) and Jane (née Bourton) who had married in 1882.
Two local officers died in France on 6th July 1917: Captain Cyril Arthur Mecrate Butcher 10th (Service) Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment (attached 62nd Trench Mortar Battery) and Second Lieutenant Henry Joseph Watlington, Royal Flying Corps.
Three local men are known to have lost their lives on 24th June 1917 whilst on active service: Second Lieutenant Rupert Edward Everitt, 299th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery; Private William James Leake, 1st/7th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment; and Gunner Henry Smith, 207th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.
Regular soldier, Sergeant George Holtham, was killed in action on 20th June 1917 serving with the 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was 26 years old and had worked for a firm of manufacturing chemists before joining the Army in February 1909.